First crab-processing plant opened

The minister of fisheries and marine resources, Bernhard Esau, on Friday inaugurated Namibias first crab-processing plant in Walvis Bay.

Established by a Namibian company, Amstay Fishing, the processing plant will employ more than 30 workers to clean, peel, cook and package the delicate crustacean for the local and South African markets.

One of the most expensive products from the sea because getting it out of the shell is not easy, crab meat is a delicacy that has a distinctively peppery flavour and textured flesh that on most occasions is consumed by hand.

Esau said the ministry is keen to promote value addition to marine resources, adding that companies such as Amstay would be rewarded with more or bigger fishing quotas.

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He said the goal was to transform the economy into a better one that employs more people before selling a resource on the international market.

Value addition creates jobs and improves employees skills through training, said Esau.

"Investors are also attracted to come and establish factories here. This is what Namibia wants."

He requested Amstay to take good care of their employees by paying them good salaries for them to have better lives.

The minister said fishing companies must be innovative and grow their businesses by venturing into various industries.

This, he said, does not only create more jobs but also secures employment.

Amstay managing director Antonio Mansinho said that by establishing the land-based processing plant, the company aims to enter the international market, create jobs and get more quotas.

"We have been processing offshore but it was in small quantities. Now we are able to process and sell in large quantities."

The company was established in 2000 and has been fishing and processing sea products offshore.

Amstay Fishing is 90% Namibian owned and 10% Japanese owned.

Source: Namibian Sun.